Friday, 24 February 2012

Vegan cupcake selection

So, last night at cake decorating class we did a selection of finishing techniques: frills, ropes, bows etc. All very simple, but very effective...

Anyhoo, halfway through the class one of the ladies brings out a giant box of Ferrero Rochers as it's her birthday. I wish her many happy returns, but refuse the Ferrero Rocher... I'm now a vegan, don't you know. And despite my love of those little smooth, praliney, scrumptious little nuggets, it was all OK. I felt very virtuous.

And then, at the end of the class we were each given a little taster box of cake to take home, with three different flavours of genoise sponge. By this time I was starving, so on the walk home, as M dug into her taster box, I got her to describe the flavour and texture in detail. Still feeling pretty virtuous about the whole thing. Hungry, but virtuous.

So today I thought: frankly, this is no good! I'm behaving just like my mother thought I would, and worrying about all the things I can't have. So I decided to focus on what I can have... and go ahead and make some sweet treats.

Plus, as I am going to my friend's birthday party tomorrow, I thought it would be nice to take her a box of goodies. So here's my first foray into vegan cakes (hope you like the puntastic names)...

A selection of vegan cupcakes:
'Red Vegvet', 'Chocolate and Fauxconut', 'Veggie's Chocolate Orange'
Makes 34 in total
Basic mixture:
400g plain flour
200g caster sugar
1 tsp baking soda
4 des sp cocoa
100ml sunflower oil
2 tsp cider vinegar
450ml soya milk

For the Red Vegvet
1/2 tsp red gel food colouring (check that it's vegan)
1 tsp vanilla extract

For the Veggie's Chocolate Orange
1 tsp orange extract

Basic Buttercream:
(adapted from 'depression era buttercream' from Mary-Anne at Time to Cook Online)
125ml soya milk
2 tblsp plain flour
110g granulated sugar
110g 'Pure' dairy free spread
2tsp vanilla extract

For the Red Vegvet
A dash of red gel food colouring

For the Veggie's Chocolate Orange
1/2 tsp orange extract
1/2 tsp orange gel colouring

Chocolate topping:
100g granulated sugar
3 des sp 'Pure' dairy free margarine
1 des sp soya milk
3 des sp cocoa
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
A few handfuls of dessicated coconut

1. For the cakes, mix together all of the dry ingredients in a bowl.

2. Mix the wet ingredients all together in a jug, then gradually pour into your dry ingredients, stirring until well combined.

3. Split the batter into three equal portions. You can go ahead and spoon one batch into a third of your cupcake cases straight away - this will be a chocolate flavoured cake with a chocolate and coconut topping.

4. Use one of the other portions of batter to make the Red Vegvet mix, by adding in the vanilla and the colouring and mixing well. Spoon the mixture into the next third of your cases.

5. Add the orange extract to the final batch, mix well, and spoon into the rest of your cases. Remember which ones are which, though, because the chocolate and the chocolate orange will look the same.

6. Bake at 180 degrees celcius for about 15 minues (you might want to check them a little before this time).

7. Meanwhile, make a start on the buttercream. Heat the milk and flour on the stove, whisking continuously until the mixture starts to thicken. Then, continue for another minute, to cook the flour taste away. Pour the mixture onto a plate, cover with cling film so that no skin forms, and leave to completely cool (so it doesn't melt your buttercream).

8. Whilst that is cooling, you can make the buttercream element. Cream together the butter and sugar until very pale in colour, and light in texture - almost white. Set this to one side until the milk mixture is totally cool, at which point you can whisk them all together very well, together with the vanilla extract.

9. By now, your cakes should be ready to come out of the oven, so pop them on a wire rack to cool. In the meantime, you can prepare the chocolate topping. Put all of the ingredients (except the coconut and the vanilla extract) in a pan on the hob. Bring to the boil, stirring continuously. Reduce the heat, and allow to simmer for another 2 minutes, continuing to stir. Leave to cool for five minutes, then add the vanilla, and pour over your plain chocolate cakes. Sprinkle immediately with the dessicated coconut.

10. Once your milk and flour mixture has cooled and you have added it into the buttercream, paste a line of red colouring down the middle of a piping bag, fitted with a star nozzle. Spoon about two thirds of the buttercream into the bag, and pipe onto the Red Vegvet cakes. You should get a pinky swirl.

11. Add the orange colour and flavour to the remainder of the buttercream, and spread this over the top of the chocolate orange cakes with a small spatula.

12. Finish with decorations of your choice - I used chocolate sugar sprinkles and sugar butterflies.

Mr P  prefers the texture of this sponge to the traditional eggy kind...

1 comment:

  1. YES!
    loved the bit about your mum.
    i wrote a post about being a cantankerous old person and not being pleased w the scary world.
    a bit to Pa-centric if you ask me.